Top 10 Android Market apps that work on a jailbroken BlackBerry Playbook

BlackBerry PlayBook running Android apps
By Simon Sage on 20 Jan 2012 07:12 pm EST

After struggling with previous versions of the Dingleberry jailbreak, I'm happy to say that version 3 works like a freakin' charm. It bundles a downgrader, so you can get your PlayBook into a prime jailbreaking state, and Dingleberry handles all of the backing up and restoring on its own. So, what can you do with root access on a BlackBerry PlayBook? Well, there's some neat stuff going on with USB host capabilities, but the most obvious application right now is direct access to the Android Market. Sure, you can sideload the apps if you acquire them through less-than-savory means, but Android Market access means you can easily download anything you've already paid - provided it works. 

There's a teeny, tiny caveat, though. PlayBook 2.0 is still very much beta, and seeing as RIM isn't even intending on providing access to the Android Market, opting instead to get developers to repackage their creations for App World. Notifications actually work well in the few apps that manage to load, but for the most part, anytyhing downloaded through Google's mobile software portal perform inconsistently at best. Generally, anything you get will simply force close as soon as you open it, but there are a few gems tucked away that perform admirably. That said, here are the best Android Market apps I've been able to run on a jailbroken BlackBerry PlayBook. 

Google Plus running on the BlackBerry PlayBookGoogle+

Odds are if you use any Google services whatsoever, you've probably heard of Plus, which is the search giant's answer to Twitter and Facebook. Contacts are organized into Circles, so you can decide which Circles see which updates. Since Google and RIM have basically divorced since the whole Bing partnership, odds are we won't see a native Google+ PlayBook app. Thanks to Dingleberry, however, we've got access to the version in the Android Market.

Through the app you can browse update streams among different Circles, post updates, initiate chats, but no Hangouts, by the looks of it. Personally, I've got my hands full managing Facebook and Twitter right now, but for those of you willing to go all-in with Google, being able to access Plus on something a little slicker than a mobile site is a definite boon. 

Pandora running on the BlackBerry PlayBookPandora

(Since I'm in Canada, I didn't have a chance to try this out, but Joseph did!)

Pandora radio was one of those apps I sorely missed on the PlayBook; I was delighted to find that it works just fine after downloading it from the Android Market.  After logging into my Pandora account, all of my stations were there,  and let me tell you... blasting Pandora radio out from the stereo speakers on my PlayBook sounded great.  One slight annoyance: from within the Android Player, the app fills up the entire screen.  I wasn't able to play Pandora and another Android app at the same time.  The back function failed as well; I had to close the Android App Player completely to start another Android app.  Aside from those minor inconveniences, I love listening to Pandora on my PlayBook for hours on end.

Pulse News running on the BlackBerry PlayBookPulse News

Pulse News was one of the earlier Android apps RIM demoed running on the BlackBerry PlayBook, and I've been frothing at the bit to try it out. It runs super-smoothly, and is just as enjoyable as it is on Android. It's basically a graphic-rich RSS reader, and makes really great use of the big display area. You can share stories from your favourite sites out to Facebook and Twitter, as well as sync up with a web account so you can read stories in a proper desktop browser later on. 

F5 app running on the BlackBerry PlayBookF5 (reddit browser)

Reddit has never got around to making its own official app, but appropriate to its grassroots flavour, the community at large has stepped in to provide a few clients. My favourite is F5, which works reasonably well on the PlayBook. You can log in under your account, upvote and downvote stories, leave comments, and subscribe to new subreddits relating to your interests. 

It was a tough call chosing between this and BaconReader, which has some finely polished graphics and manages to boot up on the PlayBook. I found that despite not working particularly well in portrait orientation, F5 gave a much better experience in landscape thanks to its additional sidebar.  I also prefer F5's white text on black background, as far as visibility goes. 

ReadItLater running on the BlackBerry PlayBookRead it Later

Read it Later is an app we've yet to see on any BlackBerry product, but just using it for a little while makes me wish they would have an app for RIM smartphones. As you might expect, the app helps you mark and access stories for viewing elsewhere. Those stories can come from anywhere online, but one common usage is for marking interesting tweets for follow-up. Items can be sent to a "current reading" subsection, so you know what to check out before anything else, and after that, they can be sent to the archive for future reference. In a lot of ways, this is a greeat counterpoint to Pulse News; instead of primarily discovering content with options for following up later, Read it Later lets you catch up on your desktop browsing while on the move.   

aTorrent running on the BlackBerry PlayBookaTorrent

For those of us who enjoy skirting the sketchier side of the internet, aTorrent is an Android Torrent client that runs just fine on the PlayBook. From within the app, you can launch into Google searches for Torrent downloads, monitor download progress, and launch files that have finished being saved to the PlayBook. It's pretty straightforward, and doesn't have many bells or whistles, but seeing as there are zero alternatives in the PlayBook App World, this is app could be very handy to the right crowd.  

WordPress running on the BlackBerry PlayBook


Until I started at Mobile Nations just prior to CES 2012, the WordPress blogging console was my top destination after Google Reader. Writing on the PlayBook is a lot more ideal than on the phone, especially if you need to do a bit of research in the browser. WordPress for Android has full support for writing blog posts and pages, moderating comments, and checking traffic stats.

Unfortunately the WordPress app doesn't recognize the PlayBook's cameras, so you can't upload pictures right off the bat, but at least the app's layout scales very nicely to the big screen.   

PayPal Android app running on the BlackBerry PlayBook 


PayPal for Android offers a lot of core, helpful features to shuffle around your balance. You can send money to friends, request money from other PayPal contacts, and move funds to and from registered bank accounts. There's even a handy bill calculator included so you can figure out who owes how much in a split meal with tip. 

This one is also available on BlackBerry smartphones, but if you've got a lengthy transaction history, the extra screen real estate comes in handy. Although the UI scales up nicely to the bigger screen, there's no landscape orientation support.   

StumbleUpon running on the BlackBerry PlayBookStumbleUpon

StumbleUpon has been around for a long time, and their app is absolutely perfect for the tablet form factor. With a single swipe, you can be on your way to discovering fresh web content that's tailored to your interests. You can leave feedback on pages that are served up to you, so StumbleUpon can bring better stuff to you in the future. It's particularly great for videos and high-res images, but really, any kind of web content shows up just fine. You can also follow friends and see where their interests take them on the web. The only real formatting issue I've found is a wonky search bar when viewing the home page in portrait orientation, but otherwise, StumbleUpon on the PlayBook is a great way to kill some time. 

Wikipedia app running on a BlackBerry PlayBookWikipedia

The official Wikipedia app is actually very new. It's not much more than a recreation of the mobile site, but there are a few additional features that make it better than just saving a home screen bookmark. For one, it saves your history, so you can flip through previous Wikipedia articles - particularly handy for those days you are left wondering how you started with Martin Luther King Jr. Day and ended up in Mesoamerican writing systems. Wikipedia for Android will also let you save pages for later reading, translate articles into different languages, and even launch into a map mode so you can see geotagged articles close to you. 


There were a lot of failed attempts to make this list, mind you. Google Maps would have been nice to have, since Bing sucks, but aside from choppy performance, geolocating over Wi-Fi is unreliable, and you can't conduct searches without a crash. Skype launches, but won't let you log in, and similarly, Path opens, but won't connect to refresh your timeline. Path seems to have submitted multiple updates every time I tried to refresh. No dice with Kindle, or Netflix, which are both sorely lacking on the PlayBook's App World. 

Most games crash on open, but I did manage to get one mediocre EVE Online-style MUD called The Infinite Black to run.  Some apps ran perfectly fine, but either had perfectly fine alternatives already available for the PlayBook, or weren't all that exciting.   

It's worth mentioning that Google Voice seemed to work fine, but since I'm in Canada, I didn't really have a chance to test it. Are there any particular apps from the Android Market that you've been enjoying on your newly-jailbroken BlackBerry PlayBook?

Reader comments

Top 10 Android Market apps that work on a jailbroken BlackBerry Playbook


These are all accessible via web so little value in having an app. Where are we w/ Skype, Netflix, VPN (that works w/ enterprise like Cisco networks) etc...


WRONG! Tech gurus have polled users and found out more people spend time in various apps than they do on the web. Considering the number of Apps there are vs the number of websites out there, I'd say it'd make more sense developing an app to gather interest in your company/website/business.

but i guess these are not up in app world for 2.0, since you had to use a jail broken one. Any good Apps up in App world for 2.0??????

It works if you install the converted bar file that is shared somewhere here at the forums, but when you download Kindle from the Android Market it just freezes on the blue picture with a tree.

No it's not. This is not an app that will likley ever work under the Android VM. We're stuck waiting for the native client if they ever release it.

The only one I really care significantly about is WordPress. Here's hoping that (or even better, a native version) gets released officially in App World. I'm still not convinced that jailbreaking is worth it.

If a "brothers in arms" wwii shooter works on a jailbroken playbook, then I will attempt to dingle, until then, I got more than enough apps and web access to so much, that it is seemingly pointless to dingle.

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

I really love my Playbook but stories like this make me wish I had Android tablet. I want to hear about how awesome my Playbook will be when I can upgrade to 2.0. February is getting close.

LOL, seriously... If OS 2.0 isn't as awesome as it looks to be, then I'll probably get an android tablet. I mean, why go through the trouble of having to "jailbreak" and Eff around with that stuff to get a bootleg version of android apps? just seems very "cheap" to have to do all that crap just get the good stuff (apps).

Is netflix in the adroid market? It would be pretty sweet to use netflix while connected to hdmi (My ps3 broke and I no longer can stream netflix).

if dingle was aroumd when the playbook was released I would definately dingle my berry but,at this point I have enough apps to hold me over until next month.Nothing on this list excites me enough and besides this new keyboard is staying with me!! it rocks!

I purchased a playbook because I wanted all that is playbook. If I wanted andy... I would have bought an android tablet. That being said, since I own a playbook, and IF at some point RIM decided to abandon it, rather than spend $$$ for a new android tablet, at that time I would dingle my berry.

All those that keep asking if Netflix work should read his entire article...

Spend the money on Playon and you can have all the Hulu, Netflix and tons of other streaming tv/movies you want. It was on sale last I knew and they even have something called Playlater so you can use it kind of like a DVR....

Seems like Playon works on just about every device going except the Blackberry Playbook (and of course blackberry phones -- didn't expect that anyway).

I really hope RIM is porting all this stuff for the android player it's going to be a real let down if we can't play get all this stuff just because the companies are too lazy to sign the apps over to app world.

No, I'm not going to jail brak my playbook. I wish articles on jail broken playbook would just not even be put up.

Playon works fine on 1.0. Install it on your PC, then on your PB just browse to, and boom. The problem is (or problems are) it is a little slower to load than a standalone Netflix or Hulu or whatever app, it costs $20 a year on sale (this to watch things like Neflix or Hulu that you are already paying a monthly fee for), and, most critically, you can only use it at home in range of your PC.

I haven't tried any of these listed, but do all of these work as APKs converted to BAR files (and self-signed)? Or are any of these specifically needing the jail break? I'm assume the jail break is only needed to get them via the Android Market. I haven't had an itch for jail breaking yet, since I've already set myself up to convert and sign bar files as I need.

BTW, isn't Glimpse (available in App World now) pretty much the same as Pulse?

If this is the case why use the real android market. There is something like 80+ alternate android side loader markets that dowloads the apks right to your tablet. seems like they would be even better to use if coverting them are easy.

Far as I can tell, there's no reason to use the android market or bother jailbreaking - there are very few things that you can do jailbroken that you can't do sideloaded.

On the other hand, folks seem to be having fun with it - so more power to 'em :)

google+ works just fine on the playbook.
open the browser and navigate to
log in and scroll to the bottom of the page.
click Desktop

working just fine for a while now....

Dingleberry makes sense if you want to toy around your PlayBook before the real thing (Tablet OS2.0) is released. After 2.0 there is no point on having a rooted PlayBook unless you cannot leave with the couch potato's favourite app.

Exactly! Who cares what runs well on a rooted PlayBook? Why don't you tell us you can access to Android Market on a PlayBook installed with an Android?

The skype video works on the playbook. A few months ago my baby was sick and I used my playbook as a video monitor to keep an eye on him through my laptop. One of my 101 ways to use the playbook.

Yes please tell me how do i install skype on my (not jailbroken playbook with os beta)
Really whant to know!

Kindle is the most important app I want from Android. I thought I've seen it run on a Playbook running the beta so I'm surprised it didn't make the cut while these other second tier apps did.

Seriously, if this is all that is available after the OS2 upgrade then that's just sad.

Good luck with that... Not saying I don't agree, but the probability of it happening across the board isn't looking good.

Why this??? I have been very intrigued by the beauty of QNX.. I think it is a better OS than Android. Android is a Linux wannabe.. having said that, i want playbook native apps.

No offense but these are the apps your guys came up with? I did like the reminder about Read It Later. However, Kindle, Bible and Pulse are available as converted BAR files and no rooting is required. Google+ is plain retarded. Here are some apps that I found that are useful to me.

PageOnce - nice to go along with my BlackBerry version
Tweetdeck - the website works on Playbook as well. although this is easier to navigate.
Pandora - this is better than the converted BAR file in terms of look.
Moviefone -

Anyways, just getting started with this. I would like to get Amazon's app store on here someway to download apps from there. It has a few that are not available in Android Market.

any mp3 or video players that work on a rooted i cannot find one single app that works!!!

Can the author or someone else list witch of the apps mentionned in the article are avail. As .bar files for sideloading?
Thanx in adv

so ill probably just get flamed on for this since im in a playbook owners thread, but seriously, you people crack me up. you waste all this money on a DOA tablet, and youre so bored with its lack of functionality that you try to make it an android tablet so you can actually get some use of out if it beside the web browser (all the playbook rly is). i dont get it and i probably never will, but WHY DIDNT YOU JUST BUY AN ANDROID TABLET???

o lemme guess, cuz BB bridge is all you need right? because with your BB connected you can now do the few things a BB can handle, on a 7in screen and have the best of both worlds!

oh except the part where you have hardly any application support, and the ones you do have cost 4x as much so you end up jailbreaking the device you "bought for security" so you can sideload android apps!

fucking kills me! XD

The funny thing is that you are right about all the people that have jumped on the chance to root their playbook. I would usually eat a comment like this alive but it is true.

I personally have not seen the appeal for the rooted Playbook. Heck, I'm not even on the beta 2.0. I as a Playbook user am amused at how so many want to root their Playbooks. I don't agree with your opinion of the playbook since it is a beast and is receiving growing support for apps and with the latest os closed off the dingle blackhole.

Anyways,looking forward to the latest update and for what RIM has to offer. For you guys that feel the need to dingle your berry.....well I'm wondering why you don't just buy an android tablet?

I certainly don't know of an android tablet that's as good as my playbook that went for $199. Seems like you're coming from the belief that playbook owners are frustrated with their purchase. That's simply not the case, at least for me. I rooted my PB because... well... why not? More free stuff is always going to sound good to me. Still thrilled with the PB's built-in abilities; absolutely thrilled to bits.

Please Please post more comments about the PB! You have tremendous insight. Please invite to friends to come and post their wisdom as well. We need more people like you here to help convince us that we bought the best table. Thanks.

I'm so happy the PlayBook is cracking you up and killing you. It sounds like your current "whatever" (see my slashie below) does not give you anything "cracking" or "killer" in the user experience. Maybe a you can't handle a PlayBook. Mine is cracking me up and I consider it killer.

/Device agnosticism or bust!

So when is then new os gonna be released i keep hearing february but is that "official" or still a rumor and i'm lost on the whole android app market is it only gonna play apps that are repackaged or will it play all android apps i bought mine a month ago and i'm kinda disappointed with it so far i've tried to "dingleberry" it but it keeps being retarded and not working right finally gave up and said i'd wait til february. please someone give me some insight to what is going on thanks